* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

by Mark Twain

Race Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"Can't, Mars Tom. Ole missis, she tole me I got to go an' git dis water an' not stop foolin' roun' wid anybody." (2.5)

Twain's use of dialect emphasizes the differences between Jim, a slave, and Tom. Is Twain simply attempting to accurately render different dialects here, or is he exaggerating Jim's way of speaking?

Quote #2

"Well, what of it? They'll all lie. Leastways all but the nigger. I don't know him. But I never see a nigger that wouldn't lie. Shucks!" (6.65)

Though Tom seems to have no problems with interacting with black slaves – he even learns how to whistle from one – he still distrusts them and doesn't seem them as individual. He seems to assume that all black people are the same.

Quote #3

"Say Huck, I know another o' them voices; it's Injun Joe."

"That's so—that murderin' half-breed! I'd ruther they was devils, a dern sight." (9.38)

Listening to Huck and Tom, it's hard to know if they fear Injun Joe because he's a murderer or because he's a so-called "half-breed"; whether it's because of Joe's reputation or the reputation of people like Injun Joe.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search